Review is not a matchmaker but has the potential to become a free dating site for you.

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Between countless episodes of “Millionaire Matchmaker” and “19 Kids and Counting,” I was starting to feel like I would never find anyone. Well, anyone without a graphic tee collection or 18 brothers and sisters. Anyway, I decided to use this as motivation to check out another dating site, so I started a Mate1 review.

There’s something to be said for an online dating service that puts the word “mate” right in its domain, which is partly why I decided to dive head first into a review. Mate1 claims to have over 20 million members and is rated by Neilson to be one of the “top 5 popular online dating sites on the planet,” which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. I hadn’t seen a lot of press surrounding the site thus far and was having some trouble finding reviews online, so I was excited to dig into Mate1’s assertions more, and to begin an my very own Mate1 review.

Gut Reaction:

I instantly had the feeling that Mate 1 is a little less about romance and a little more about, well, mating than some of the other big dating websites like, and especially eHarmony. Maybe it was the scantily clad blonde staring longingly back at me from the login page or perhaps it was the sparse slogan, “Find someone” (anyone, really… just a warm body) that is currently using. Either way, the login page knew my location and it claimed I could begin my search for no cost. I have a soft spot for free online dating, so I was sold. Not literally, of course, since it was…free. But sold in the sense… you get it.

Come On In:

I entered in my basics: woman seeking man, my age, location, and email address and chose a username. It wasn’t helping Mate1’s matchmaking-for-love case that the username they suggested for me was “skinnybunny69.” Subtle.
After hitting submit was told that over “2000 members” were available in my area. Well, hot dog! That’s like, 6 bars full! I entered in some more info, including my “nickname,” then met another screen telling me I could enter after filling out another mini profile. At this point, although I was kind of sick of filling out info screens, I was invested so I stayed. Point for you,! The last step asked me to upload a photo, but I found a loophole in the “Finish Profile Later” button.

Stay Awhile:

Either way, my matches looked promising! The thumbnails did not feature very much info, just whether or not the guy had more photos and when he joined the site. Next to the (might I say, pretty decent) mens’ photos were options to Chat, Email, Flirt, or Hotlist. I clicked on View All Matches and was shown some more man mug shots, so to speak. I was impressed by the diversity in both ethnicity and age of the men Mate1 found for me.

The first thing I noticed when reviewing was how busy the design on the site was. There were banners everywhere, and it was a bit difficult to tell what was part of the dating service and what was an ad. Another revelation was that the slogan had suddenly changed to “ – intimate dating” which was again, subtle (insert sarcasm here). There weren’t a ton of navigation tabs but I did find several places to alter my search criteria, which I did to make my location broader. It’s probably important to note that as with all of my dating site reviews, I set my location to Charlotte, North Carolina, a city of about 1.6 million. I know from experience that there are tons of young local singles here looking to meet people, so I figure it’s as good a place as any to start.The good news was that within my age and location range, I had over 10 pages of matches with around 20 personal ads per page. The bad news was the men I was seeing didn’t exactly tickle my fancy, if you catch my drift. They seemed a bit seedier and more leering than some of the other singles groups I’d come across on other sites, but hey, maybe that’s what some people are looking for when dating online. Although I wasn’t overwhelmed with the quality of the guys, the sheer quantity made up for it. I could have spent a couple of hours just pouring over photos and profiles, some of which were quite entertaining (“looking to meet girls online for hot chat or hook ups” – wow, Romeo, you had me at ‘hot chat’.)

I noticed about 10 thumbnail photos of attractive, young (ish) men. One was in the banner ad at the top promoting “Free communication week!” while several were clearly the results of my search. The last was a second banner ad, telling me to get more emails by filling out an “essay?” I’m sorry, what? An essay? I thought I was getting a boyfriend, not a GED.

Additional Features:

I poked around a while, and figured out what some of the other offerings of the site were all about. The “Hotlist” turns out to just be a…list. You populate it yourself when you find someone you like – by clicking on their Hotlist button, you add them to your list which you can revisit later. Flirting is pretty similar to Facebook poking. By Flirting with someone, you pretty much are just saying “hey, you’re not terrible looking and your profile photo wasn’t terrifying…” At that point, the ball’s in the other person’s court, really. Unless you just want to Flirt incessantly until they eventually block you. Not that I would know anything about that.

So if most dating sites are Lady Gaga, Mate is…Taylor Swift. Other than these features, there’s not a whole heckuva lot to Mate One. It’s very simple in its execution which, depending on who you ask, is either a positive or a negative. Having just come from my Lavalife account, I felt a little shell shocked by the lack of tools on, but hey, maybe that’s a good thing. Less distractions mean more time for actual human interaction, which is, afterall, why we’re all here. Here as in “poking around on the internet for sexy photos of other people” not here like “on this planet.”

Show Me the Money

So here’s where this review struck gold. I realized that I hadn’t seen an option anywhere to be a member, so I started digging around. Try as I might, I could not find a single way to pay Mate 1 for their services – highly unusual. So I did a little experiment. I went back through the whole process and signed up like I was a man… BINGO. Turns out, if you’re a man, wants you to pay to become a member, which means having access to all the messaging features women have for free. What Mate offers for men is a 3-day trial for only a couple of dollars which then automatically carries over into a monthly membership. The monthly rate is somewhat high (around $50) compared to other sites, but the page where men are asked to sign up is rife with pictures of beautiful women, pleading with their eyes. Excellent marketing, all in all.

Overall Impressions:

I liked Mate1, for both its ease of use and for its, well, freeness. What the site lacked in bells and whistles it made up for in professionalism and subtle hints at sexuality. It truly seems like a good place to actually communicate with people rather than play with buttons, which is more than I can say for some sites. Although in today’s age of 14 second attention spans, it’s hard to say whether or not… I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

While there were certainly allusions to the seedy underbelly of dating online, for the most part, the dating services offered by Mate 1 were just like any other free local dating platform, just perhaps with a slightly different clientele. Some of the most “important” findings from my online dating review were:

  • is not a matchmaker. They have no stock invested in scientifically pairing you with single people…they just lay the goods out there and let you make your own decisions.
  • Once you get bored sifting through the singles offered there’s not a whole heck of a lot to do on Mate1 as it doesn’t have as many extra features as some other online dating sites.
  • If you play your cards right, Mate1 can basically become a free dating site for you. Just choose your timing carefully and decide which features you really can live without access to. is like the Robert Pattinson of online dating. Sly, mysterious, and kind of boring at its core, but hey, you didn’t come here for glamour, you came here to meet singles (with or without a British accent), right? If you’ve got some patience and a strong stomach, I recommend you give the dating site a shot. At least for me, it can’t really get any worse than the high-brow patrons at my local watering hole. Maybe just stay off Mate 1 until after midnight? That tactic usually helps me shed a few unreasonably high standards.

Mate1 - Shadow Couple

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Total members

20 million

  • advanced search
  • 2-way chat
  • free photo profiles
  • personalized voice greetings


Membership Type



Straight, Gay and Lesbian

Free Trial/Coupon


In's own words

Find local singles on Mate1, the leading online dating resource for singles.

Originally Posted

March 28, 2011.

Last Revised

June 9, 2013.

4 User Reviews

  1. Chris J.

    From the male perspective here…
    Women get free membership, while guys have to pay. Gee, just like traditional dating. $50 for a dating site with minimal functionality at best is a rip-off. However, just charging the guys reinforces the old cliche sterotype that “men have to pay and women can show a little cleavage and get free dinner and drinks”. They’re also missing the mark by not charging a least a nominal fee for the ladies (not good business sense to only collect revenue from 48% of your member base).

    I also got bombarded by chat requests from women who had no profile picture, very little or vage profile information, were 20somethings looking for men 20-70 (??) and were from all over the world. While I can’t confirm it, these were most likely ‘bots.

    I didn’t even bother posting a picture or finishing my profile because of the constant “requests”; complete and total scam. So I cancelled my account, checked all the “do not contact me” boxes and they still do a week later. Other disturbing bit was I got a couple emails from foreign ladies wanting to meet an American man. Again, can’t confirm this but the timing between my short (and I mean short, about 20 minutes) time with mate1…so I think they tried to scam me again.

    Great if you’re a gal (free membership), guys get the “free trial” but not disclosing the pricing and the stupid emails that “four members want to contact you” is just the same line that pull on me.

    Waste of time, not recommended.

  2. Max M.

    After putting in my info,,and photos,i noticed a big response to my profile 65 to be exact,but could not see the emails unless I upgraded.For 1.95,what did I have to lose.After I paid the 1.95,I was allowed to see,and respond to emails,after three days,the cost was 49.95.I was stunned at what I found about my emails.95% of the women that had emailed me wanted me to go to Yahoo,and most refused to put photos online,and kept insisting I go to their email address.I had at least 150 “ladies”[I think]bothering me,email after email,saying i like your profile,hope you like mine.When I checked their profile they were very incomplete,and they obviously didn’t read mine.This site is a JOKE,and had nothing to offer,except internet strippers.Please guys don’t waste your time w/ this site,if you’re looking for a relationship,for all you will get are a bunch of insincere emails from internet whores wanting you to go to yahoo.If this is what you are looking for,go to a strip club.50.00 bucks will get you 5 very good lap dances,or will fill a strippers G string for quit a while.

  3. Susan

    I found the majority of men who contacted me were scummy. The one man that did interest me seemed intelligent and had a positive life..he offered me a job for the summer so we could spend time together…in actuality, he was a scammer, who used me for money wires, and i am stuck paying back his debt for 5700.00 with a closed bank account.

    I contacted Mate1 to make them aware of this person, and never even got a reply. I cam only hope some other unsuspecting woman isn’t getting ripped off because mate didn’t care enough to investigate and put a stop to it.

  4. Jeff

    Boy, I hit the Jackpot for you guys that like women from Ghana. I’ve been trying to meet women from NY NY and it seems that they are all in Ghana with family members and stuff. Mate 1 blows. No exaggeration, I would say after talking with these women for a few minutes, over 98% falsely represented where they are. I’ve been in contact with one women who sent me her pictures so I’m setting up a meet in NYC. We’ll see what happens. When my membership is up for renewal….I’m done.

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